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|Oskar and the eight blessings|
Author: Simon, Richard
A young Jewish refugee from Nazi Germany arrives in New York City on the seventh night of Hanukkah and receives small acts of kindness while exploring the city.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 2.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 176661
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 2.30
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 67270
Kirkus Reviews (09/01/15)
School Library Journal (+) (10/01/15)
Booklist (+) (09/15/15)
The Hornbook (00/11/15)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 09/15/2015 *Starred Review* Eloquently rendered in art and text, this graphic-novel-style picture book relates the story of young Jewish immigrant Oskar, who, after Kristallnacht, is sent by his parents to New York City to live with his aunt. Arriving from Europe on the seventh night of Hanukkah—also Christmas Eve—with just her address and picture, Oskar searches the big, bustling city for her home. Along the way, he discovers unexpected kindnesses: a woman feeding birds shares bread, a man extends a helping hand after Oskar falls, until, finally, Aunt Esther sees him on the street and gives him a warm embrace. The descriptive prose has lyrical touches, while vibrantly accented, softly shaded illustrations incorporate varying perspectives and historical details, such as Superman, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Oskar’s charming encounter with Count Basie, whose whistling inspires Oskar to whistle back—“his first conversation in America.” From poignant to hopeful, Oskar’s experiences affectingly illuminate and convey his father’s parting words: “Even in bad times, people can be good.” Though the story is geared toward younger readers, the prelude’s evocative, shadowy Kristallnacht depiction lacks explanation and may raise questions, so this may be best read with adult guidance. A brief glossary defines some terms, and a map of 1938 Manhattan pinpoints Oskar’s path and the eight encounters—his blessings. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 10/01/2015 PreS-Gr 2—On the seventh day of Hanukkah in 1938, which also happens to be Christmas Eve, a young refugee boy named Oskar arrives in New York City from the horrors of Nazi Europe with only a photograph and an address to find an aunt he has never meet. As Oskar walks the length of Manhattan, from the Battery to his aunt's home in the north end of the city, he passes and encounters the city's many holiday sights and residents. Each person he meets offers Oskar a small act of kindness, such as the newsstand man who gives Oskar a Superman comic book. Each encounter is a reference to an event which took place in the city in 1938. A constant for Oskar is remembering his father's last words, "Oskar, even in bad times, people can be good. You have to look for the blessings." The majority of illustrations are presented in variously sized panels that move the story along, with inserts of long panel illustrations that serve as a glimpse of Oskar's experiences. VERDICT A wonderful, heartwarming picture book for any library at any time of year.—Diane Olivo-Posner Los Angeles Public Library - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.